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Thread: [How To] Exclude Folders and Hard Drives From Spotlight in Mac OS X

  1. #1
    What's Jailbreak? Akshay Masand's Avatar
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    Default [How To] Exclude Folders and Hard Drives From Spotlight in Mac OS X

    As many of you already probably know, Spotlight is an awesome feature found on the Mac OS X that will help you find files you are looking for. Sometimes you don’t want Spotlight to index everything though. Whether it’s an external backup drive or a private folder with files you don’t want easily found, you can exclude drives and directories from Spotlight very easily. Just follow the steps below:

    1. Launch System Preferences from the Apple menu and click on Spotlight
    2. Then Click on the Privacy tab
    3. Now, drag and drop folders (or drives) that you want excluded from the Spotlight index (alternatively you can click the + icon in the corner to manually select hard drives or directories).

    Once you have done this, anything in the folder(s) or drive(s) in the list will effectively be hidden from the Spotlight index, making the content not appear in any searches performed. This method is a much better approach than just disabling Spotlight, which is what many people end up doing. If at any point you want these items to be re-indexed within search results, all you need to do is highlight them in the privacy tab then delete them with the Delete key or by hitting the button in the lower left corner of the window. Removing items will trigger the mds and mdworker processes to run.

    It should be noted that excluding items and then re-including them causes the directory or drive to be completely re-indexed, which can be helpful as a troubleshooting tip if you’re running into location specific problems within Spotlight as well.

    Did any of you find the info useful? Will any of you be utilizing the feature? Share any thoughts and opinions below!
    Last edited by Akshay Masand; 2011-12-31 at 03:29 AM.

    Twitter: @AkshayMasand

  2. #2
    Grumpy *T*'s Avatar
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    Nov 2011
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    Got something to hide, huh?

    Sure you haven't been feeling guilty lately?

  3. #3
    It's done this since Snow Leopard that I'm aware of

  4. #4
    I thought this was 'ModMyi' not 'How To OSX'

    Must be a really slow news day...

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by b3nelson View Post
    I thought this was 'ModMyi' not 'How To OSX'

    Must be a really slow news day...

    What's wrong ?

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